Interview by Robert Cavuoto
Chuck Garric is most notably known as Alice Cooper’s bassist, but what people are starting to find out is that he is also fronting and playing guitar in his own band – Beasto Blanco. On November 25th he and his bandmates; Chris Latham [guitar], Jan Le Grow [bass], Tim Husung [drums] and Calico Cooper [vocals] will be releasing their self-titled CD via Rat Pak CDs. It’s the follow up to their 2013 release; Live Fast Die Loud.
Beasto Blanco is a force not to be reckoned with and destine to make an impact on the music industry. Each song is a well crafted story delivered in a unique way to intrigue the mind and create thematic visuals. Songs that are a pummeling mix of energy and the macabre. Their first single is a cover of Alice Cooper’s “Feed My Frankenstein” with a creepy and erotic spin. The album is currently available for pre-order via Rat Pak CDs website at: smarturl.it/BeastoBlanco16.
I spoke with Chuck about their new release and how the band is evolving, growing, and finding their own identity.
Robert Cavuoto: When did you record this CD and how long did it take you as Alice Cooper always seems to be touring?
Chuck Garric: I would say it took a year for the whole thing. We were demo’ing up the songs a while ago and had to find the right producer as everyone has been so busy. The CD has been done for a while and just getting the right time for the release. When CDing, you basically find the time, it’s what you do. I’m a singer songwriter and I have to find the time to do what I want to do. I only have short amount of free time when I’m off to get things done. I think we knocked it out of the park. It’s getting good review and people are really enjoying it. We don’t have to tell anyone about the labor anymore we can just show them the baby.
Robert: I hear a real sense of continuity with the songs on this CD; the band is clearly evolving and finding its own voice. Do you feel the same way?
Chuck Garric: It was something that we tried to do on this second CD. There was so many things that we loved about Live Fast Die Loud as it was the beginning stage of our career and the formation of Beasto Blanco sound. We had to figure what was missing from the first CD and what was missing from the show. When we started writing for this CD we wanted to hone in on the lyrics and attempt different tempos. We branched out as we wanted to add a little more depth.
Robert: Do you typically write songs for the live performance?
Chuck Garric: I’m definitely still a young kid when it comes to songwriting. I can remember playing air guitar in my room and moving a certain way to the songs. If I come up with a song riff, I’ll add a vocal line to it, and if it excites me I’ll start jumping around pretending to be Jimmy Page or someone. Then I start to realize that I’m on to something. I meditate and use visualization to see myself performing the song in its earliest stages. It starts to take on its own life in the show. So yes, there is a collaboration between the studio recording and the stage show.
Robert: What were your learnings from Live Fast, Die Loud that you applied to the making of this CD?
Chuck Garric: With Live Fast, Die Loud, Beasto Blanco was new and fresh. We hadn’t played a show together. These were song ideas that were coming to us inside a studio. After you go out on the road playing those songs it gave us an idea of what we wanted to do on the second CD. We have a better idea of who we are and want to show growth as songwriters and artists. To show people we are fucking serious. It’s not a project, it’s a real band, it’s a family, and a lifestyle. We have a lot to offer. We are here to stay!
Robert: I noticed you didn’t put a title to this CD, why?
Chuck Garric: Very simple, people are now discovering Beasto Blanco. We felt with two CDs, there is a growth and rebirth with the identity of Beasto Blanco. So having a self-titled CD with the simple intention of saying to people here we are. It is for you to learn who Beasto Blanco is.
Robert: I like the way you incorporated the wrestling mask that you use in your live performance into the CD cover. Tell me about how the use of the mask came about?
Chuck Garric: It’s not necessarily a wrestling mask as much as a mask that turns you into something you always wanted to be. We use the mask on the song “Motor Queen” and it becomes a character that I’m not; someone more courageous who I have summoned with my super mask. It’s a way to summon your courage, face your fears, and take things a little out of your comfort zone. It make you nervous and in your deepest soul that you want to do it. That’s what Beasto Blanco is all about, to use your animal instincts and become something different.
Robert: With Alice Cooper having such an extensive music catalogue, what attracted you to cover “Feed My Frankenstein”?
Chuck Garric: I had the idea of covering an Alice Cooper song for a long time, I just couldn’t figure out which song I wanted to do. I thought “Feed My Frankenstein” had some Beasto Blanco elements that could lend itself nicely to what we do. I knew that I could manipulate and tweak the song to make it sound like a Beasto Blanco song. I just had to figure out how Calico and I could act out this Bonnie and Clyde or Big Bad Wolf and Red Riding Hood situation. When we started working on Calico’s parts for the verses we immediately knew that we were on to something by adding the harmonies. When you see the video you get what’s it’s all about and the song can be sexy. I don’t think there is anyone out there doing what we are doing. None of it is choreographed we just have an amazing chemistry between us. We are able to play off that nicely.
Robert: Tell me about your friendship with Calico Cooper and how you decided to join forces?
Chuck Garric: Over the years we developed a very tight friendship. We are similar ages and share the same birth month. We had a lot of things in common as we both have a comedic side too us that we enjoy. I always knew she was a rock star. I believed in her ability as a singer and performer. I was shocked that no one has ever really tapped into that before. She came to the studio to sing backgrounds and at that moment I realized that she could be singing a lot more. We added her more to this CD and wrote her into the shows. She really enjoyed it and we enjoy having her. The second CD was our chance to showcase her character who we call “Machine Girl.” She is a top notch performer who brings it every night.
Robert: Billy Bob Thorton does a dark reading called “Sadhana”, tell me about that.
Chuck Garric: I’ve known Billy since 2003. We have played a lot together and hung out quite a bit. He has become a close friend. The lyric means to accomplish something and it’s used for medication purposes. It needed to be narrated by a storyteller who is instantly recognizable. Everything in that poem is real; the bed, the train, the room and the thoughts. Who else to deliver it then one of the most real actors out there. I don’t think Billy acts, it is just who he is. His personality is enough and very believable. He was very gracious to read it for us and it gives me goose bumps when I hear it.
Robert: I really like “Buried Angels” can you share some insight on its making?
Chuck Garric: That’s the beginning stages of the whole concept even though this CD is not conceptual, it just the way it turned out. From the lyrics you can learn a little about the character. This person is on the lamb and looking for sanctuary. He has done some bad things in his life and looking to find his way out. The devil is on his shoulder but he is looking to find out where he belongs. In order to do that it is going to get a bit risky. This guy is an outlaw, he is a blue collar hard working guy, and willing to use his knuckles if he has to. He would prefer to use his mind. With the life, death, and rebirth in this CD you will see how the story progresses and how he begins to see the light and rise up to be the true king of his own world.
Robert: Will there be a tour to support this CD?
Chuck Garric: We have a few US dates in November with more dates to come very soon. We will be doing a European tour from November to December. Then we will have more dates popping up for 2017. We get a lot of requests from fans to come to their city or country and that’s a great thing to have.